Incident McDonnell Douglas F-4H Phantom II 143390,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 153170
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Date:Monday 13 August 1962
Time:c. 20:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic F4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas F-4H Phantom II
Owner/operator:VX-5, United States Navy
Registration: 143390
MSN: 5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:6 miles East of Harvey Field, Inyokern, Kern County, California -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:NAS China Lake, California (NID/KNID)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
YF4H-1F (F-4A-1-MC) Phantom II/Bu.No 143390: Pre production airframe (5th F-4). First flight June 15 1959. Delivered June 1959 and Bailed to Raytheon Corp for tests and trials of AAA-4 infrared search and tracking sensor and development of the AIM-7/AIM-101 Sparrow AAM (air to air missile) system.Transferred by 1962 to VX-5, US Navy as 'XE-14'. Operated out of NAS China Lake, California

Written off (destroyed) August 13 1962: Lost control systems due to hydraulics failure, 6 miles East of Harvey Field, California. Pilot, Lieutentant Commander Harold Wellman ejected safely at an altitude of about 100 feet when aircraft caught fire on take-off.

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("San Bernardino Sun 14 August 1962, p.16 - see link #1)

"Pilot Bails Out; Plane Crashes
A Navy F-4H Phantom piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Harold Wellman based at China Lake Air Facility crashed shortly after 8:50 a.m. yesterday six miles east of Harvey Field. CA. Cmdr. Wellinan ejected from his plane at 10,000 feet and parachuted to safety. Steve Renew, a China Lake employee who witnessed the crash, said the plane looped after the pilot bailed out and he watched it glide to earth where it burned. There was no property damage."


1. San Bernardino Sun 14 August 1962, p.16:


Three types of McDonnell fighters in flight from Naval Air Station Oakland (USA), circa 1959: a F2H-3 Banshee (BuNo 126436) of NARTU Oakland, an F3H-2 Demon (BuNo 145233), and a pre-production F4H-1F Phantom II (BuNo 143390). The F4H-1F 143390 later caught fire on takeoff from NAS China Lake on 13 August 1961. The pilot ejected safely. F2H F3H and F4H McDonnell fighters in flight c1959 F-4A   143390 was third F4H-1F

Revision history:

08-Feb-2013 13:21 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Apr-2022 15:59 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Jun-2022 00:12 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Category]

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